Call for justice for Ceredigion ‘swap’ victims
10:29am Friday 25th October 2013 in News
CEREDIGION MP Mark Williams has once again called on the Government for justice and fair play for those small businesses in Ceredigion who have been devastated by the banks’ mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.
During a backbench business debate on Thursday, Mr Williams spoke about the snail-slow progress of the financial watchdog, the FCA, who is responsible for ensuring full and proper redress for those businesses affected.
Mr Williams said: “I’ve received many complaints from constituents about the way the FCA is handling this Review. First of all, it has been painfully slow. For those small businesses who find themselves within the review, they are now being forced to wait longer than six months for any decision as to whether or not they were mis-sold. This unacceptable delay means their financial circumstances deteriorate which is a serious threat to the long-term survival of their business.
“Back in January of this year, the FCA clearly determined that over 90% of small businesses caught up in this scandal had been mis-sold hedge products tied up with commercial loans by the banks – products which businesses didn’t ask for and didn’t need.
“Instead of the ‘robust rigour’ which was promised by the FCA last April, what we are seeing are months of dither and delay and a review scheme which is rapidly becoming a bureaucratic quagmire. I am very concerned about the millions of pounds that the banks are spending on lawyers, accountants, former bankers and derivative salesmen who are acting as the so-called ‘independent’ reviewers who judge whether or not these products were mis-sold.”
Mr Williams added: “Unfortunately, this review scheme seems to be more about protecting the banks than the customer. In my opinion, this is all about the FCA tacitly ‘assisting’ those offending banks in carrying out a damage limitation exercise and this is a complete disgrace.”